Palestinian PM Qureia decides to forgo PA race; Israel may allow Jerusalem vote
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia announced that he would remain in his current position as prime minister, and not step down to allow for him to run in upcoming Palestinian elections.
The move comes less than a day after the Fatah faction of Mahmoud Abbas decided to unify its two competing lists for the elections.
Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council Rawhi Fattouh also announced that he was backing out of the race, reported Haaretz.
The moves are in line with the conditions of young guard leader Marwan Barghouti, who did not want any current members of the PLC, Fatah's central committee, its revolutionary council, PA ministers or members of the Palestinian National Council to run.
Qureia stated that his decision came as a result of Israel's move to ban voting in East Jerusalem.
Several senior Fatah leaders have reportedly threatened to set up their own list in response to Barghouti's terms, including Intisar Al Wazir and Hakem Balawi.
In an exception to the terms he set, Barghouti will head the unified Fatah list.
Fatah is currently attempting to form a list which will be a viable opposition to Hamas, which won wide popularity in recent local elections.
Israel may allow East Jerusalem vote
Israeli sources revealed on Monday that despite reports to the contrary, voting may be allowed for Palestinian residents of Jerusalem in the PA elections.
The PA had threatened not to hold the January 25 elections if Israel undertook such a move.
One Palestinian official welcomed the comments, but said that until an official notice was received by the PA on the matter from Israel, any respose on the PA's part was premature.